Peachland has a long history of supporting recreational boating on Okanagan Lake, dating back to the early 1900s when Peachland hosted an annual regatta up until the outbreak of World War I. By the 1950s, Peachland boating enthusiasts were lobbying to have a local breakwater built to offer “safe harbour” for their vessels. A makeshift safe harbour and boat launch ramp was built by local boaters in 1954 using a floating boom between piles driven in the area of the current day-moorage area. By 1959, the federal government committed to building a breakwall in Peachland. One of the conditions was that a local club be formed with at least 50 members that would benefit from the breakwall. This prompted the first formation of the Peachland Yacht Club (“PYC”).
The breakwall was built in late 1959 and early 1960 and was opened in July 1960, along with the adjoining boat launch ramp and the Swim Bay swimming and diving area. At that time, the breakwall supported a promenade available to the public. PYC members were instrumental in getting the Swim Bay facilities built, convincing and paying the pile driving company that was contracted to build the breakwall to install additional piles for the Swim Bay swimming and diving area. Mooring fingers were installed by the local boaters on a volunteer basis and 20 “wet stalls” were created including one that was reserved for search and rescue operations. “Dry stalls” (spots on the beachfront where boats could be stored) were also available for rent.
From 1960 to 1984, the marina operations were run by the District of Peachland (“the District”) and, while boaters continued to raise funds and carry out repairs and improvements to the marina, the PYC did not formally operate as a Club. In 1977 (by which time the original breakwater was in need of major repairs) the District passed a by-law authorizing the formal establishment of the PYC to manage the affairs of the marina as agents for the District. All moorage fees were paid directly to the District but PYC managed the membership fees.
In 1983, the floating dock close to Beach Avenue was built and slips were added along the south breakwall bringing the total number of available slips up to 51. (This resulted in the elimination of the “dry stalls”.)
In 1984, the PYC was formally constituted as a Society under the BC Societies Act. Upon this being completed, PYC took over the full management of the marina. By this time, the much-needed repairs to the main breakwater had not been completed and demand for space in the marina had grown significantly. To deal with these issues, PYC felt that the marina should be expanded or relocated. The federal government indicated a willingness to support a new breakwater but the District and PYC had to agree where it would go. A site was chosen on Trepanier Beach but local citizens objected and the District would not approve that site. The next choice was at the foot of Princeton Avenue but, once approved, studies showed that the lake bed was not suitable. So, in 1991 the federal government built a new breakwall at the same location as the previous one and, at the same time, built the day-use docks close to the main commercial area of Peachland.
PYC has managed the marina since 1984 and has self-funded all significant repairs and enhancements. In 1993, the Club purchased and installed the gazebo that functions as its office and storage area and in 2000, a deck area was created and the gazebo moved to be integrated into the deck area. Also in 2000, the District removed the requirement that moorage members of PYC had to be residents of Peachland. In 2015, the main breakwall was expanded bringing the total number of slips to 60, one of which is still dedicated to search and rescue operations, now carried out by the Peachland Fire Department on behalf of the Regional District of Central Okanagan. One reciprocal slip is reserved for visitors from other yacht clubs on Okanagan Lake.
PYC has been fully subscribed for its moorage spots since it took over operation of the marina in 1977 and, over the last several years, has carried around 15 – 20 members annually on its wait list. As well, over the course of any given summer, PYC continues to host many visitors to Peachland from other yacht clubs on Okanagan Lake, from Penticton to Vernon. PYC has a long and proud history of service to Peachland and the Okanagan Lake boating community, all provided by a dedicated team of volunteers.